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Hamill hopes to send fans home happy

Jamie Hamill wants his side to entertain Stranraer fans as the club gets ready to kick off another league season.

The player/manager is getting ready for a second season in the Stair Park hot seat after guiding the team to mid-table last term.

Friendlies and the Premier Sports Cup are now in the rear view mirror, with Annan Athletic the first opposition in the 36-game league season.

Each of those friendlies was played away from home, with fans only given a glimpse of the new look side in the clashes with Championship Queen’s Park and Dundee.

Hamill was looking forward to welcoming the fans back through the gates and said: “Times are tough with Covid and the way that the world is so if we can put on a performance on a Saturday to get people out of their house, not worrying about things that are going on in every day society and get them rallied round about Stair Park it would be brilliant.

“We are looking forward to having a good season and hopefully that is with as many fans as possible.”

Hamill was full of praise for his opposition, who qualified for the knockout stages of the cup competition and enjoyed a memorable season last term when they reached the promotion play-offs.

He said: “Let’s not be kidded, it is going to be a tough game against Annan.

“They were flying last season and had a good run in the Scottish Cup.

Annan have proved tough opponents in recent years

“They are the first team from League Two to qualify for the next round of the Premier Sports Cup as well.

“It is a great achievement for Annan but we just need to focus on ourselves.”

The Blues are likely to be without both Dean Hawkshaw and Sean McIntosh for the opening league game of the season.

Midfielder Hawkshaw played 72 minutes on the opening day of the Premier Sports Cup against Queen’s Park while McIntosh is yet to feature this campaign.

Hamill was keen for both to be back in the squad but stressed they would not be rushed.

He said: “I think they are going to be struggling for a couple of weeks.

“If we can get them back for the weekend it would be good but I just think sometimes with these injuries you are better off getting them right.

“We’ve got a new physio in and she is casting her eye over the boys as well.

“We have picked up a few injuries so we are waiting on a few players coming back for the weekend but we will go with what we have got.”

The manager has been busy trying to strengthen his squad throughout the close season.

Attackers remains an area where the manager is identifying targets, including a familiar face.

Craig Malcolm was a trialist in last weekend’s friendly

Craig Malcolm, who scored more than 100 goals over two spells in a Stranraer shirt, was a surprise trialist against Hurlford last weekend.

That contest ended 2-2 and Hamill has not ruled out the experienced striker signing on for a third spell.

He said: “Craig has been on the radar for a wee while but he was at East Kilbride and he had a coaching opportunity in there as well.

“He was made available and we are struggling for numbers at the top end of the pitch.

“As soon as I heard he had become available I was keen to try to do something.

“He did 45 minutes, came in and scored, his all round play was very, very good and I was happy with him and he looked really, really fit.”